I’m not good at patching up relationships once they’ve fallen apart.
Granted, some relationships are (and should be) beyond saving. If you’re in a situation where you’re being used in any number of wrongful ways and you find the guts to break free, draw that line in the dirt and keep your distance. I know some people manage to resurrect something in the way of a relationship out of such circumstances, but it’s a rare occurrence and certainly beyond my ability (or, probably, desire).
I’m pretty good at admitting when I’m wrong and I’m certainly willing to accept my share of the blame in any situation, but I won’t go beyond that, which is probably why those friendships stay broken. I won’t shoulder another’s blame, and I won’t grovel. I’m ready to apologize for being an ass (which occurs more often than I like), and to admit my wrongheadedness (whether intended or — more usually — unintentional), but I won’t beg for forgiveness.
Is it pride? I dunno…maybe. It feels more like a desire for people/adversaries to meet face-to-face and on their feet, to remake the break or let it stand, to take a moment to acknowledge the other’s viewpoint even if, in the end, it’s a case of agreeing to disagree.
I’ve lost friends by my unwillingness to confront, and by theirs. I’ve pounded my fists bloody on unassailable walls (I’m thinking of my father in particular), and erected a few walls of my own in defense of those I felt I could no longer trust with my feelings or my heart. It’s not a one-time occurrence thing. I don’t pull the rug out from under someone based on a single incident. (Or at least I haven’t up until now.) I usually put up with a lot before I build those walls, but once I do…well, I’m not proud to admit it, but I find it extremely difficult to give that person another chance to hurt me. I can be cordial if the situation calls for it (being rude never got one anywhere), but we stand on the doorstep, as it were, and they are not invited inside. I’ll have the door slammed in my face only so many times before I realize I’m courting a broken nose.
What about you? How do you handle a relationship that’s floundered?